Cathedral window free pattern and video tutorial. Fold and press method.

In this post, you will learn the traditional cathedral window method to make the base of the work. And also, you will discover new shapes to vary your designs. The cathedral window free pattern to download and the video tutorial will help you, too.

Cathedral window free pattern: square unit

Cathedral window free pattern: PDF and video tutorial square units

In the first place, cut a square of fabric and press the seam allowance to the center.

Then, fold and press the corners to the center and sew.

Fold the new corners to the center again, press, and sew.

Two units make a window frame.

Cathedral window pincushion
cathedral window pincushions - flower units
cathedral window envelope units

Cathedral window units hand sewn

Let’s start with the classic “cathedral window” square. This unit can be made in several ways.

Cut the units with the templates and press the edges to 1/4-inch. (Follow the link to the FREE PDF https://gum.co/SweMP to download the patterns)

Then fold and press the corners to the center, and make sure that the new corners are neat and square.
Sew with a few stitches in the center to secure everything.
Now, fold the corners towards the center as you did before. Sew in the center to secure. Make sure the stitches go through all the layers of fabric.

Cathedral window free pattern square scheme

You can help yourself with a cardboard square at each stage of pressing, to achieve perfect squares.
In the printable templates, you will see the shapes corresponding to each stage in a different color. You print them on thin cardboard and cut them with care.
Test a square of fabric first, to make sure the templates work well. Sometimes, when cutting the templates or the same thickness of the fabric, make them fail, they do not fit perfectly.
If you are going to use this aid it is a good idea that you achieve reliable templates, then pressing and folding will be much easier and faster.

Cathedral window units by machine

cathedral window fold and sew the borders
joining and sew the corners in the center

You can also make the “cathedral window” squares by machine.
Cut the square of fabric and fold it in half. Sew the two edges at a 1/4-inch.

Take the central part of each side and pull it out perpendicularly, forming the new square shape.

Bring these edges together and sew leaving an opening in the center, to turn the unit right. Trim the seam allowance for each corner and turn it right.
Make sure the corners are well defined and press.
Now, take the new corners and fold towards the center. Press well. Sew in the center with some stitches that go through all layers of fabric to secure the unit.

cathedral window squares by machine

It doesn’t matter if in the center things are not quite right since you can fix it when you sew the windows. Press well. Sew the four corners in the center with a few stitches through all layers of fabric.

sewing the center od the cathedral window square

Prepare the units you need for your project. It is a very quiet time in which you can listen to your favorite music or a good podcast. Or maybe watch a movie, always taking care that the units are neat!

Joining the units

joining the cathedral window units by hand

You can sew the units by machine or by hand.
If you like to sew by hand, or you are in a place where you cannot have your sewing machine, do the following: join two units with the fronts facing each other. Make sure they match well.

Sew with a whipstitch, start to finish.

Open the units and you will see the window frame.

joining the cathedral window units by machine

If you prefer to do it by machine, take two units and align them, matching the edges.

Sew with a small zigzag stitch and make sure the entire seam is stitched. Be careful at the beginning and end and try to make these ends sewn and neat.
From now on it’s up to you. You can work in sections, joining the units in rows and then in sectors, or you can join and sew all the units in the project at once.

Applying the windows

Cut the fabric for the window using the templates in the PDF. Follow the link to the PDF https://gum.co/SweMP

Place the fabric inside the window frame and secure it with a pin. Fold the fabric of the frames over the edge of the window fabric, stretching to form the window. You can sew it by machine or by hand. Check the “Applying the windows” section for a step by step instructions.

Cathedral window free pattern: square flower variation

This variation will allow you to add color to the spaces between the windows and you can use it as a separate unit as well. It resembles a flower with four petals.

cathedral window free pattern flower units tutorial

To build this unit, prepare the square as you learned in the previous section until the first folding stage.
Before folding and closing for the last time, insert a square of contrasting fabric into the unit.

Secure this square with a few stitches, keeping in mind that it should completely cover the base of the unit.
Now, close the unit, folding the corners towards the center, and sew with some stitches that go through all the layers of fabric.

Also sew and secure the corners at 1/4-inch, going through all layers of fabric. Check that the corner of the inserted fabric is inside the unit and secured.

insert the fabric
Place the insert inside the unit
close the unit with the insert inside
Fold the corners to the center
sew the window and secure the corners

Joining the units

finished unit

You can join and sew these units as you learned earlier. And you can also apply the windows in the same way. However, note that by joining two of these units together we can match the corners of the window frame in the center, but on the outer corners we have the 1/4 inch distance that we used to secure the inserted base.
This can be solved in the other methods, as it is not necessary to ensure the base of a different color.

Watch the Cathedral window tutorial so you can learn how to make this block and use it to create a great project!

VIDEO TUTORIAL – Cathedral window quilt course: fold and press squares. PDF patterns and instructions to download.

Cathedral window free pattern: square envelope variation

I found this variation when I made a mistake in the measurements of the units when doing a runner.
I already had the runner’s center finished, so I took the units that were small and wrapped them in the larger units. Thus, I was able to form units that work very well for edges, but can also be included in any project.

Cathedral window free pattern square scheme ENVELOPE

Cut two units with the templates, one small and one larger. (Follow the link to the PDF https://gum.co/SweMP
Prepare the big one as you learned before but leave it open. Cut each corner at one inch.

Fold to the center making a border to the unit inside.
Sew with an invisible stitch and press well. Combine them with traditional squares or use them to make a border for your project.

place the small unit into the big one

Prepare the little one and complete it closing the center. You can add a square of fabric before closing, to make a flower unit or leave it as it is.
Cut out four windows with the templates to apply them. Note that the windows have a seam allowance of approximately 1/2 inch. This margin is folded towards the back of the unit when applying the window, securing it with a few stitches.
When the small unit is finished, place it inside the larger unit and fold the corners of the larger unit around the smaller one. Sew the joints with an invisible stitch, securing the entire set. Join this unit with the others, as you learned in the previous section.

apply the windows

Cut the fabric for the window. Secure it with a pin. Apply the window by machine or by hand. Fold the extended edge to the back of the unit and stitch to secure.

The following cathedral window video tutorial will help you to make this original border.

VIDEO TUTORIAL – Cathedral window quilt course: fold and press squares. PDF patterns and instructions to download. ENVELOPE UNITS

Check these project tutorials to practice what you have learned!

Cathedral window free pattern: rectangular unit

Cathedral window quilt pattern the window way

To make this block you will use the “Fold and press” method, rectangular version.

You will cut the units, fold, and press them twice.

Then, sew them together to make the window frame.

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Lynne Edwards introduced rectangular units in the “cathedral window” designs. To make these units you will no longer work with squares of fabric, but with a different shape.

Follow the link to the FREE PDF  https://gum.co/JJlBW so you can print the templates for the units and the windows.)

Cut the fabric with the templates and then fold it twice as you learned in the square units tutorial.
Take the piece by the points A and B, on both sides, and join them.
Sew both margins to 1/4 inch.
Take the two open edges and pull perpendicularly, joining them.
Sew along these edges leaving a little opening in the center.
Trim the seams and turn it right.
Leave the corners neat and press well. You will get a kite shape. Close the opening with invisible stitches.
Fold the new corners to the center and press well.

The rectangle has already done!
Additionally, You can help yourself with the cardboard shapes to fold the rectangle if you prefer. Look at the template, the different stages of folding are marked in different colors. So you can print them and cut them to make the press work easier.

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To join and sew the units follow the steps described in the square units section.
After making a row of these rectangles you can start applying the windows inside the frames. Place the fabric and secure it with a pin. Fold the fabric of the frames inward, stretching to form the window. You can sew by machine or by hand. Check the  “Applying the windows”  section for a step by step instructions.

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You can make a rectangular flower block, inserting a rectangle of fabric inside the block. And then close the unit as you learned before.

Whatch this complete cathedral window video tutorial, where you find all the steps to make this block.

Check these project tutorials to practice what you have learned!

Cathedral window free pattern: triangular unit

Cathedral window quilt pattern the window way

How about combine the units you learned before with triangular units?

To make this block you will use the “Fold and press” method, triangular version.

You will cut the units, fold, and press them twice and then, sew them to form the window frame.

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We start by cutting the fabric with the template.
It’s weird but the original shape is a star, no longer a square! TIP: pay attention to the templates, there is one for the mandala and one for the linear arrangement.

Follow the link to the FREE PDF  https://gum.co/UncXw so you can print the templates for the units and the windows.

Take each point A and B and join them sewing at 1/4-inch on each edge.
You will notice that a hexagon is formed. Close the two edges leaving an opening in the center, to be able to turn it right.
Trim the seams. Turn the unit right and press well. Fold the corners to the center and sew them with some stitches that go through all the fabric layers. Press well. You can arrange the units in two different ways: alternating up and down or forming a mandala, arranging them around a central point.


Sew and do the same for every star point. From the center to the end of the star shape.

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Leave an opening to turn right. Trim the seams. Turn right and make the corners neat.

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Close the opening with a few stitches and press again. Fold the corners to the center. The new corners must be sharp and neat.

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Press well. Sew with some stitches in the center and secure it well. The triangle is done.

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You can join the units in two different ways.
In the first one, place each unit, one next to the other, alternating the bases of the triangle, one above and the next one below.
In the second one, place them making a mandala.
Sew the units as you learned in the square units section by hand or machine as you wish.
When you have the units sewn, cut the windows with the templates and apply them following the instructions in the same section.

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You can make a rectangular flower block, inserting a rectangle of fabric inside the block. And then close the unit as you learned before.

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Whatch this complete cathedral window video tutorial, where you find all the steps to make this block.

Check these project tutorials to practice what you have learned!

For all of you who want to keep learning all these techniques, I prepared a Free Course and a Workbook to make it easy to find all the information, tips, and inspiration! And I’d really love to look at your creations. Feel free to ask and share!

How to make a cathedral window quilt easy and fun. FREE course!

How to make a cathedral window quilt easy and fun.

Free Course, tutorials, video and patterns.

Thanks for spending your time in my blog!! Time and attention are very precious gifts.

God bless you!

Cathedral window quilt pattern the window way

4 thoughts on “Cathedral window free pattern and video tutorial. Fold and press method.”

  1. Help I am trying to make a quilt using the folded square method except I also want to add another fabric where the triangular places are between windows. There are quite a few pincushion patterns using this method which I have tried, but I would like to make my blocks larger and need to know how to sew them together. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Mary Lou Hickman

    Reply
    • Hi, Mary Lou! Thank you very much for your question, I would love to help! Could you give me more details about your work, so I can visualize what you would like to do and give you the answer you are looking for?

      Now I realize, you were working with the blue and gold cushion tutorial. Does your question have to do with this tutorial or do you want to work with classic square units?

      Reply
  2. I am so happy to find these tutorials. I did not know how to decipher the old instructions!
    An aged family member to my son-in-law Left some wonderful projects undone. We were blessed with some remnants and sewing supplies, quilting supplies!
    Lo and behold a Cathedral Window project had been started! HAND STITCHED on the windows, machine joined on the squares.
    I have a lovely panel that is six feet by 9 inches about and another that is 1.5 feet by 3 feet with lovely blues. The old instructions were hard to understand until I found The Window Way and there are so many WAYS! I spent all afternoon researching and sewing a few squares to figure out how it’s done and then I searched the internet!
    On this page there are other nice projects and, Victoria, I don’t know why ya call it a mandala, universe meditating mojo, anyway, we have decided here that we will call it the Blossom pattern! or the Chrysanthemum!
    Thank you! This helps so much! and inspires!

    Reply

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